No threads on the Tookie execution?

To warrant a life imprisonment, someone would have to constantly be considered a threat to society. This is the only way I could accept someone being imprisoned for life. I do not believe there are that many people like that, really. Prisons are not facilities where that can be assessed, and so they should not be in prison.

What we need is a system where after a man has been found guilty of a crime someone we, as a society, trust can then “assess” or “decide” or “judge” whether the man is “dangerous”. Only if he were “found dangerous” would he be “ordered confined” for “the rest of his natural life” to a “facility” that wouldn’t let him out.

Also, I think that the problem with the death penalty debate is that the majority of Americans believe in capital punishment as societal vengeance, but they know they aren’t allowed to say that.

Way to trivialize the action of what is clearly a reformed man. The guy did a hell of a lot more than that.

Yeah, 25 years ago. Perhaps now he should stand as an example that people – even “stone cold murderers” as Tookie no doubt was in the day – can be reformed. It might have set an example of exactly how far reformation can go. This guy started the Crips, fer Chrissake!

I’m not saying the guy should have been freed. But executing this guy 25 years after his conviction, despite his actions since, is unbelievably stupid. Isn’t 25 years a “life sentence” in of itself?

Dangerous is the critera? I understand your suggestion of a system, but couldn’t we put a little finer point on the qualifications of someone being ‘dangerous’? I mean, at any given time of a day you could be ‘dangerous’ yet because you do not act upon your more carnal instincts you will not be placed in prison.

Considering that most prisons are akin to schoolhouses for crimes, they actually become more dangerous the more time they spend in prison. Also it’s no surprise that there are many repeat crimes, as the current prison system does not teach it’s inmates how to cope on the outside world. Transforming them into state dependants one way or another.

The death penalty is wrong, but letting people out of it because they change is just silly and dilutes the authority of the argument. Everybody and their mother finds the Lord in the pokey, and I have read enough letters from prison to know that it is usually just an utter horseshit attempt at manipulating parole boards, victims, and family members. Turning your life around in prison does not warrant lighter treatment. Turning your life around in prison is what you should be doing if you expect to get out on time.

Across the board we need more compassion, but if you look at certain model prisoners achievements and base behavioral standards off of that, you are more likely than not looking at the work of a remoseless person attempting to use the right words and phrases to convince you he’s sorry so he can get out early.

Prison as it is is a factory for ass kissing liars. If Tookie had taken his lie the whole nine yards, he would be alive. Because he continued to order killings from prison, and because he both claimed the mutually exlcusive innocence and redemption for the acts which led to his convictions, he is not a good candidate for clemency.

You shouldn’t be against killing him because he changed, just oppose it because it is wrong. This will avoid the problem of having to counter arguments that he did not change.

I was replying to Anders, but I shouldn’t have paraphrased, I guess.

s/dangerous/considered a threat to society/;

Agreed. I would have liked to have seen Arnie announce a moratorium. But Tookie, being the worst possible hill imaginable to die on this side of a child molester, made the likelihood of that quite unlikely.[/quote]

I can admit that it was unlikely, but I believe it was not Pat Robertson who said, whatsoever you do to the least among you, you do to me.

I would suggest that you read a number of books by people that deal with the hard case murderers in prison: profilers, etc. Unfortunately there are quite a few people who will always be a threat and danger to society and do need to be removed from society. Also, remember that most people convicted of murder do get out of prison: life without parole is a relatively rare sentence.

It’s a nice world to imagine where you take someone like the guy here who was recently convicted of kidnapping, repeatedly raping, and then killing a small child and spend time trying to better understand whether he did it because his mother used harsh toilet training methods or because his father left the family when he was 13, and then teach him the err of his ways and let him go. Or put a career criminal who kills in cold blood into therapy with the hopes that he’ll get better and go open a flower shop. Heck, the success rate (and time required) of psychological treatment of people with issues that fall far short of psychopathic murder isn’t all that great.

Most murderers get a sentence that allows them to walk after a certain period of time. In most cases it is only the absolute worst killers who get put away with no hope of rejoining society. Oh, and a number of killers DO get put into mental institutions instead of prisons, if it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that they are mentally ill.

Yep, the average around here for the typical murder is 19 1/2 years, and pretty much no one reoffends. Just good people, killin’. Boyfriends who kill pregnant girlfriends, wives killing husbands, armed robberies gone awry. 19 1/2 years. Of course, the word average means a lot of people do 7-11 and other people die in confinement. But hey, I didn’t have to take statistics, so that’s all I know.

I think Anders is saying that evil is a mental illness in and of itself, therefore evil actions are a symptom of illness and evil men should be treated gently where they can’t do more evil things, this harsh treatment where we jail them and kill them is barbaric and pointless, more than he is saying that they can be easily rehabilitated.

Really? I seem to recall a strong correlation between prison sentence length and the race of the people involved. You’re much more convinced the justice system is eqiutable about this than is justified, I think.

What argument would that be?

That a person is irredeemable, and therefore deserving of death.

What argument would that be?[/quote]

That the death penalty is wrong.

Change after incarceration as grounds for not killing a person is a red herring. Whether or not they change, it is wrong to kill the person. You end up letting a small number of people out and wash your hands of the rest because they can’t convince you with their macrame display on race relations.

Really? I seem to recall a strong correlation between prison sentence length and the race of the people involved. You’re much more convinced the justice system is eqiutable about this than is justified, I think.


The stats I have recently seen show the average length of time served for Murder/1st Degree Murder to be around 13 years. Now, recall, Jason, that I’m the one carrying the banner that the death sentence is inequitably applied and based on more arbitrary factors than I consider acceptable. That said, you have to be careful about statistics, right? For example, African Americans easily have the highest percentage rate of recidivism after being released: that doesn’t mean African Americans are just naturally more inclined to crime. The data I’ve seen has shown that when you normalize for everything else, race isn’t the prime correlation to length of sentence. But I could be wrong - the best data makes an honest attempt to normalize and not just look at race as the only factor, for example, if an inner city is 90% African American and that is the place where the majority of murders occur in a state, you have to be careful only correlating race to murder convictions or comparing those sentences. The best data is that which doesn’t compare the sentence of an inner city black kid who killed two clerks in a 7-11 in cold blood with a white 48 year old man who killed his wife in an argument, but one that compares two people in very similar crimes and with very similar backgrounds. If a black suburban man kills his wife in a spur of the moment rage and gets a significantly longer sentence than the same circumstances with a white or hispanic man, and you have enough of those to be statistically significant, then that’s compelling data. I don’t think I’ve seen that.

That the death penalty is wrong.[/quote]

Oh. I thought you were stating that the argument in favor of the death penalty required it to be consistent and absolute. My bad.

I’d agree with that argument, as far as it goes, I don’t think a jury would ever give Cliff Huxtable lethal injection. But I have heard anecdotally from former prosecutors that the white suburbanites who tend to sit on juries are so terrified of black gang members (SUPER-PREDATORS) that they will convict them on very flimsy evidence, and not hesitate to give them ludicrous sentences, up to and including death.

Poor Tookie.

No, race isn’t the “prime” correlation, but it’s a pretty damn big one. Not a non-partisan source, but oh well.

The race of the defendant is a much stronger predictor that a case will result in a death sentence (1.4) than the fact that the crime was committed along with another felony [0.8] or that the defendant killed with multiple stab wounds (0.9).

Another measure of race’s impact on the death penalty is the combined effect of the race of the defendant and the race of the victim. In the Philadelphia study, the racial combination which was most likely to result in a death sentence was a black defendant with a nonblack victim, regardless of how severe the murder committed. Black-on-black crimes were less likely to receive a death sentence, followed by crimes by other defendants, regardless of the race of their victims.

If there’s significant racial bias in who gets the death penalty, there’d be significant bias in regular sentencing severity, no?

Way to trivialize the action of what is clearly a reformed man. The guy did a hell of a lot more than that.[/quote]

The point is, how do you decide when it is enough to allow for clemency? I’d like to see death penalties stop anyhow, so take this question as a rhetorical one pointing out that the idea of a governer granting a pardon or clemency is a stupid and immoral circumvention of the justice system, stupid and immoral as it is.

I heard a press interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson this morning where he accidentally referred to him as “Cookie.” Oops.